Loire

Wine Exchange (Orange, CA)
Tasted Saturday, March 29, 2008 by tcfishler with 630 views

Introduction

An interesting tasting, which gave me a sneak preview on quite a few wines I had purchased but not tasted previously. The lineup was quite solid overall, although the deficiencies of the 2006 vintage were quite apparent when compared to examples from the prior vintage. That said, the Laporte Sancerre and entry-level Baudry provided proof that very good wine could be made, and I suspect I would have enjoyed the Pichot more had the pour been more generous. Neither the Amirault or Hureau wines were suprrising in their strength, but what was quite a revelation was the obvious greatness of Baudry's Croix Boissee, especially when compared to his Les Grezeaux bottling. The primary youthfulness that all these reds showed is consistent with the idea of 2005 as a highly structured, ageworthy year for these wines, as it was in France's other major red wine-producing regions. Another surprise was the Vouvray from Vincent Careme, a producer whose wines I have neither seen nor heard of elsewhere.

Flight 1 (9 Notes)

Flight 2 (9 Notes)

  • 2005 Albane & Bertrand Minchin Valençay Le Clos Delorme 85 Points

    France, Loire Valley, Valençay

    Sweaty for sure, but the sweat here is somehow attractive (maybe like Angelina Jolie after a workout?). But it tastes like chewing tobacco marinated in lemon juice; you really need to be in the mood to enjoy this.

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  • 2006 Pascal & Nicolas Reverdy Sancerre Rouge Terre de Maimbray 88 Points

    France, Loire Valley, Upper Loire, Sancerre Rouge

    Medium light violet. Pretty, almost bouncy cherry fruit, with a doused cigar thrown in as well. Silken texture; would satisfy a Burgundy fix in a pinch.

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  • 2004 Catherine et Pierre Breton Chinon Beaumont 89 Points

    France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon

    Shockingly opaque black purple. Roasted bell pepper, nectarine, and subtler mineral and lacquer notes. Medium bodied, with very good persistence. Interesting yet classic enough.

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  • 2006 Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Granges 87 Points

    France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon

    Fairly saturated red. Wet tobacco dominates, but the fruit in the background is sweet and ripe. Crunchy yet refined; nice down-the-middle hit here for Baudry's little wine.

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  • 2005 Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon Les Grézeaux 85 Points

    France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon

    Dark purple. Nose of very fresh pasilla chile is simple but holds up well in the glass. Dense structure and an ashen finish make this hard to find pleasure in right now. Needs years.

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  • 2005 Domaine Bernard Baudry Chinon La Croix Boissée 93 Points

    France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Chinon

    A Chinon for the ages. Another black purple robe, but the nose presents something entirely different than that of Les Grezeaux. Here it's full of hugely sweet blackberries, almost in a New World Syrah kind of way, although it still manages to retain plenty of freshness. In the mouth, this wine seemingly wants to stand up on the palate, and it has the structure to make that happen. It's as if the tannins are hanging onto your upper gums, refusing to let the wine fall down and coat the tongue. Along the way there's a strange though not really offputting dried anchovy note. The length here is enormous, as you might imagine. Like the Grezeaux, this needs extensive cellaring, but it's also showing a lot more promise right now.

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  • 2005 Yannick Amirault Bourgueil Les Quartiers 91 Points

    France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Bourgueil

    Opaque plum. Expressive, piercing yet deep fruit. Full and even fat when compared to the Baudry Chinons, but every bit as satisfying in its own style.

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  • 2005 Yannick Amirault Bourgueil La Petite Cave 89 Points

    France, Loire Valley, Touraine, Bourgueil

    Redder than the preceding wines, but still opaque. Supersweet, almost syruplike aromas of red and black fruits and rose. The extraction is more apparent here, with copious quantities of grainy tannins. Comes off strange now, but I'm hopeful for its future.

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  • 2005 Château du Hureau Saumur-Champigny Les Fevettes 92 Points

    France, Loire Valley, Anjou-Saumur, Saumur-Champigny

    Dark red. A melange of berries and lemon zest; fresh, ripe, and just plain lovely. A lot of Champigny elegance on display, with less extraction than either the Baudry or Amirault wines. There are some superb acids to keep the structure intact, however. This bottle came off as if it's ready to enjoy now.

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Flight 3 (2 Notes)

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